InnerViews - from guest facilitators and the insightful
REACHING THE HEIGHTS
by CJ Ryce
Joe looked remarkably like spiderman as he stretched across the tree limbs, his body a dark shadow against the sky. He leaned against the ropes of his rigging and planted his feet on the trunk of the huge oak, three stories above the ground. He seemed oblivious to the dizzying height as he
yanked the cord of his power saw and reached out. In a few seconds a dead limb came crashing to the ground. Joe Argentine, a landscaper from Clearwater, Florida, lent his tools and talents to improving the grounds at HeartLand while learning tools to lay a groundwork for his own life. With a profound level of commitment, he moved quickly through a number of issues that had plagued him for years. He did so well, in fact, that he became a source of support and inspiration to several others as they turned within to face with their personal challenges.
Joe feels StillPoint Breathing is one of the most valuable tools he acquired at HeartLand. It was during a breath session that a long forgotten, painful memory surfaced that helped him to move through an old fear of heights.
"I was angry at my father," he explained. "I was five when as a result of trusting him, I fell off the monkey bars and broke my wrist. My father had promised, 'Don't worry about falling. I'll catch you,' so I just let go, but he missed! As the memory unfolded, I realized that I was testing him. Suddenly, as I breathed, I could see how upset he was. He was crying because he didn't catch me. I forgave the reality of resentment I'd been holding onto for years when I could see it was not done on purpose and that he was in as much pain as I.
"I have cut trees for 2 ½ years with a fear of heights," he added. "Sometimes, I would feel a compulsion to jump from high places, including trees. That compulsion hasn't happened since that breath session."
Joe first heard about michael's work through his physician. He went to a Sunday evening, "Why is This Happening to Me ... AGAIN!?" workshop, and the concepts made sense to him. After working his way through a reality management worksheet on mom, with the help of his doctor, he cleared out some issues that had been buried for years, hidden from awareness. "Life was looking up!"
"After one worksheet," he said, "I was no longer driven by anger and fear I had suppressed toward my mother. I now feel compassion and love and when I think of her."
Joe has also learned to feel love and compassion for himself, one of the reasons he says he came to HeartLand in the first place. He said the primary thing that helped him feel better about himself was the people he met here.
"They supported me by helping me remember that I can be nothing but love, that I am love," he said.
Joe had this powerful experience of being that love after a spontaneous breath session that occurred while working on the pool with other support team members. Emotions came up so strongly for him that he felt a need to lay down and breathe. "michael showed up about half way through," he commented, "he just sat down and helped me complete the process.
"After I'd breathed for almost an hour and a half, I had moved so much energy that I wasn't able to do anything but sit and look around for another 20 minutes or so. I looked at myself, at the trees, at michael. Everything was beautiful; everything made sense; everything was clear. I could see energy around the trees. Everything was connected and beautiful! I remember thinking at the time . . . we are love! I am just pure love!"
When asked what else he gained from his experience at HeartLand, Joe's face lit up.
"I learned that healing is safe and fun," he said. "When I first came here, I couldn't watch someone cry. I just wanted to run away. By the time I left, I was helping people through crises, left and right. I could be love in their presence and comfort them in their healing. I learned that healing does not have to be a crisis."
Joe has returned to Florida with a much stronger sense of who he is and how to deal with "issues" that come up in life. Meanwhile, he expects to return one day to strengthen and reinforce what he has learned here, and, perhaps, trim a few more trees. Meanwhile, we think of Joe and sense his presence every time we gaze up at the stately, old oaks that shade and beautify the grounds of HeartLand.